Wild West Poetry Festival

Meet the PoeTrainers!

David C. Brydges

David C. Brydges is an event planner, cultural entrepreneur, and artistic director for the “Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour”.

Rosa Arlotto

I was born in Marsiconuovo, Italy in 1956. I came to Canada when I was 10 years old. I attended University of Toronto and graduated with an Honours B.A. in languages.

Marsha Barber

Marsha Barber is the author of two poetry books: What is the Sound of Someone Unravelling (2011) and All the Lovely Broken People (2015), published by Borealis Press. She has published in The Antigonish Review, The Walrus and a wide range of other periodicals, and won several awards for her work.

Steven Michael Berzensky (Mick Burrs)

Steven Michael Berzensky (Mick Burrs) won a $1000 Saskatchewan Poetry Manuscript Award for his 3rd book, The Blue Pools of Paradise (Coteau, 1983) and the $1000 Sask Poetry Book Award for his 5th book, Variations on the Birth of Jacob (Muses Co., 1997). Living in Edmonton in the early 1970s, Mick hosted 2 popular weekly radio shows at CKUA.

Kent Bowman

In 1970, Ted Plantos encouraged me to write poetry (i.e., Purple Cowboy, Glasseaters’ Banquet and section in The House Poets). In 2007, my essay on “The Creative Process (Songwriting, Composing, Writing Poetry)” was accepted by Imagination in Action. In 2008, I contributed “Plate Spinning in America” to Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era. In 2009, And Left a Place to Stand On accepted “Zen River Memories.” In 2010, my collection, On the Other Side of Paradise, was published. Recent poems appeared in Arborealis and Decabration.

Margaret Code

Margaret Code, a member of the Art Bar Poetry Series team in Toronto, has been writing since 1995. Her poems have appeared in Lichen, Garm Lu. Labour of Love, Best American Poets (Vol. 4) and Chickadee. In 2013 she won an audience-voted Best Originals poetry contest. She attends a variety of writing events including Hot Sauced Words, Live Words, Inkslinger, Writers Coop, Plasticene Poetry, and Urban Gallery. Leisure hours put Margaret on a tennis court or a bicycle.

Patrick Connors

Patrick Connors chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was released by Lyricalmyrical Press in 2013. He was also recently published in Belgium, India, and Timmins. He was literary juror of Big Art Book 2013, a digital project of Scarborough Arts. He recently performed at the Austin International Poetry Festival, and, for the third time, at The Art Bar Poetry Series. He is a manager for the Toronto chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change.

Ian Ferrier

Ian Ferrier is an internationally known poet, musician and performer who has released two CDs and a CD/book, founded a festival, and started an online magazine and a record label. A recipient of multiple arts awards, he currently tours the country with his spoken word and dance collaboration For Body and Light.

Fran Figge

Fran Figge's life-long love of poetry came into pleasurable focus several years ago when she discovered her own writing muse. She is currently president of The Ontario Poetry Society, president of Tower Poetry Society in Hamilton and a member of the Canadian Authors Association where she has the privilege of reading and work-shopping with many other experienced and aspiring poets. Fran has a chapbook entitled hope and despair in the ark and Encompass II featuring her work with that of four other poets.

Kathy Figueroa

Canadian poet, Kathy Figueroa, takes great delight in writing poems that have entertained newspaper and magazine readers in Ontario for many years. She's had three books published: Paudash Poems, Flowertopia, and The Cathedral of the Eternal Blue Sky, and her work appears in numerous anthologies, as well as on many poetry blogs and websites. She enjoys organizing events, like “The Word Is Wild Literary Festival” (held in June, 2014), and frequently reads her work to local audiences.

Kathy Fisher

Originally from Montreal, award-winning poet Kathy Fisher has made her home in Edmonton for just under three decades. A multidisciplinary artist, Fisher is a wordsmith, research lawyer, documentarian, biographer, oral historian and explorer, and always creates with attention to the ear and eye. A performer and host in the local literary and spoken word scenes, Fisher regularly produces evenings of words and music, often with visual arts components.

Kelsey Knight

As an aspiring writer, Kelsey Knight is an experience chaser. She is motivated in her search for moments to accumulate and create a meaningful life. Her main focus and interests are in poetry, art and photography.

Joanna Lilley

Joanna Lilley is the author of the poetry collection, The Fleece Era, published by Brick Books in 2014. Her short fiction collection, The Birthday Books, will be published in 2015 by Hagios Press in their Strike Fire New Author Series.

Blaine Marchand

Blaine Marchand's award winning poetry and prose has appeared in magazines across Canada and in the US. The author of eight books, he is currently working on two manuscripts of poetry as well as a collection of short stories, Nomads.

Susan McMaster

Susan McMaster travelled to Cobalt with Poetrain just before the train was tragically cancelled. Her 20 publications include poetry books, anthologies, magazines, and recordings with First Draft, SugarBeat, and Geode Music & Poetry. She is the founding editor of Branching Out, the first national feminist magazine; and instigator of Convergence: Poems for Peace, which brought poetry to Parliament Hill in 2001. Prize listings include the Archibald Lampman Award, Montreal International Poetry Prize, Ottawa Book Award, and Acorn-Plantos People's Poetry Prize. She is a former president of the League of Canadian Poets.

Debbie Okun Hill

Debbie Okun Hill is a Canadian poet, blogger and freelance writer. She is a past president of The Ontario Poetry Society. Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press, 2014) is her first trade book.

DC Reid

DC Reid is a past President of the League of Canadian Poets and has published 11 books of prose, non-fiction and poetry. His current book of poems, You Shall Have No Other, is being made into web-based poem-movies that may be accessed and downloaded at www.sandria.ca.

Paul Sanderson

Paul Sanderson resides in Toronto and is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. His poetry has been published in "The Tower," "Zygote" and "The White Wall Review" poetry journals. His first chapbook, "Biological Seasons", was published in 1996. His first full length book of poetry "Learning Curves" was published by Seraphim Editions in 2003. His second chapbook, "The Golden Thumb & Acirema" was published in 2010.

Lorrie Simunovic

Lorrie is a spiritual life consultant, equity advisor, educator, soul worker and poet with 25 years of experience. She has worked in community, academic and esoteric settings. She connects and writes through intuitive insight and truth telling from multiple perspectives. She expresses the intersection of emotion, experience and consciousness. She reflects upon layered, intersectional human parting and connecting as a rich spiraling tapestry of life journeying peaks, valleys, desserts and oceans of simultaneous pregnant possibilities.

Michael Stacey

Writing poetry has been a strong interest for me for over ten years, but I have not submitted any of my poetry for publication until very recently. I am new to Canada having moved from Perth in Western Australia in August 2014 to take up a position at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences.

Judy Tate Barlow

Judy Tate Barlow is a singer, poet, mother, lover of everyday life!

Ella Zeltserman

Ella Zeltserman is a Soviet-born poet living in Edmonton, Canada, where she is an active member of the local poetry community. Her poetry has been published in a number of anthologies and magazines. Ella’s first book of poetry, small things left behind, was published July 2014 by University of Alberta Press.